Before we begin
The world as we know it today has become a really small place thanks to e-commerce. That’s because now we can buy anything from any part of the world. You could be sitting at one corner of the globe and buying a shirt from the other without stepping out of your comfort zone.
The internet and e-commerce have made the world into a digital marketplace accessible to anyone and everyone. A dynamic platform with endless opportunity, e-commerce is the fastest growing industry today, as the recent pandemic just proved it.
With markets and economies down, e-commerce stayed on track and, in some cases growing as well. This boom, however, comes with its share of risks; because of its rapid growth and popularity, it has led to an alarming rate of security threats.
E-commerce involves buying and selling goods and services online, transferring funds, financial databases, digital payments, and multiple other important user information, which are at a high risk of being hacked or attacked by malicious elements.
From online frauds to payment conflicts, the list of threats to e-commerce is very real and, quite honestly, a matter of grave concern. True e-commerce has been the biggest boom of this millennium, but you should also focus on securing your ecommerce business to keep your customers and your business safe.
An attacker doesn’t see if the company is big or small, a charitable organization or a global conglomerate. Every business is vulnerable to these online threats unless the proper steps are taken to secure an e-commerce business.
- Let’s explore some of the major threats that are present in the ecommerce market today.
A transaction fraud happens when a transaction is completed using stolen data or a payment card. With real-time transactions on the rise, transaction frauds are happening quite frequently.
They pose a considerable security challenge for financial institutions such as banks, credit card companies, issuers, and merchants worldwide.
Sure the transaction time is reduced but at what cost? Faster transactions have increased the chances of fraudulent transactions that are going unnoticed until it’s too late.
A payment is flagged fraudulent when a cardholder’s credentials are used online without the owner’s knowledge. This is usually done by using stolen credit card details.
By the time the cardholder sees a payment transaction he did not make on his credit card statement, it’s already too late, and the victim has to dispute the transaction by contacting the bank or the credit card company.
Direct site attack
This type of attack directly targets your website. This attack is also known as Distributed Denial of Service or DDOS for short. In this kind of attack.
The third party with malicious intent tries to get your website off the internet using hackers or cyber criminals that employ malware, algorithms, and bots to push your website off the server. This kind of attack directly affects your revenue because your customers are unable to access your website online.
With no traffic, there would be no sale, in turn, hurting your business. This attack happens more often during a sale season as the traffic is more. With such threats on the rise, it becomes indispensable for you to secure your e-commerce business by building a solid defence mechanism.
Ecommerce businesses are vulnerable to fraud through password hacking or brute force attacks. A Brute Force Attack is cracking the user’s password using a cryptographic hack or an exhaustive search.
This attack depends on guessing the various combinations of a password until it gets the correct password and then gains access to your account.
Once the password is cracked, the attacker can use your customer’s credentials to make fraudulent transactions. This attack can happen within your business as well, where your employees can use your customer’s data to make unauthorized transactions.
The other significant outcome of this attack is that the hacker may keep changing your customers’ passwords, ultimately making them stop using your website.
Sure the name sounds fancy and high-tech, but the technique is relatively uncomplicated and straightforward. In this sort of attack, the hackers develop and employ unique bots or programs to get details about the prices and your products online.
They use this information to offer lower prices on your competitor’s website and products where eventually you lose traffic.
- So what now? How can I keep my ecommerce business safe and secure from such threats?
With such threats, it becomes evident why you should prioritize your e-commerce business security. How do you do that? Well, we’ll take you through all the steps you can take to protect your e-commerce business.
Use HTTPS and SSL certificates
Usually, unsecured sites are all HTTP, but HTTPS (HTTP + SSL = HTTPS) or Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure is the more secure HTTP form.
It increases the security of your website by encrypting it, making an attacker’s job harder. HTTPS prevents your website’s data from being openly visible to hackers and attackers.
Those websites that do not have HTTPS and are less secure with HTTP are at a higher risk of internet service providers or other intermediaries publishing and forcing their content into the web pages without the website owner’s approval.
HTTPS makes sure that your content and data are safe by removing unknown third parties’ ability to smuggle advertising.
But all this encryption is useless unless someone is watching over the communication that occurs to make sure it is secured.
That’s why you should buy SSL certificates. The SSL certificates are transfer-layer contact between the server and your website, basically working as an overseer to ensure that communication is safe from external attacks.
SSL Certificates work on the Handshake Protocol and Record Protocol. The handshake protocol authenticates the server and generates a shared key, and the record protocol isolates every communication using the shared key, making the process more secure.
If your e-commerce has multiple domains and subdomains that you wish to secure, we suggest using a multi-domain SSL. This can secure upto 250 additional SAN.
Securing your payment gateway
It’s highly recommended that you do not store your users’ credit card or financial data as it’s the first thing targeted by an attacker.
Online transactions, through fast, are susceptible to hacking, and you become even more vulnerable if you have your users’ financial credentials stored on your website.
Once lost, there is no way of getting them back, leading to not just the sheer humiliation but the loss of your customer’s trust as well, which would lead to you losing heavily.
Instead of storing your customer’s payment credentials, it’s advisable to use a third-party payment portal to handle the final transactions. This not only ensures the safety of your customer’s data but also reduces your liability in case your website does come under attack.
Consider investing in anti-virus and anti-malware software
Anti-virus software is a significant investment you should not shy away from. Viruses and malware can disrupt your website’s operation and traffic flow resulting in catastrophic and often disastrous results. But the good news is that such an abruption is very easily avoidable by employing good anti-virus and anti-malware software.
One of the biggest mistakes e-commerce business owners makes saving money by not opting for anti-virus or anti-malware software, putting their business at risk and their customers’ data and information in jeopardy. Think of it as strengthening and securing your e-commerce business by employing digital security guards.
You should take cybersecurity very seriously to protect your ecommerce business and your customers’ valuable data. With each passing day, there are new and improved techniques that attackers and hackers are trying to get their hands on your data. You need to focus on your users’ security when they’re on your website, and you can do that with the tips we’ve shared above.
It is crucial for all ecommerce website owners like you to frequently update and modernize your online security protocols. As an ecommerce business owner, you should also be updated about the latest threats present in the online business environment so that you could take preventive measures accordingly.
So get into the habit of actively working on your website security and investing in SSL certificates, anti-virus software, and other security measures and keep the dark, unforgiving attackers and hackers at bay.